Over the last few years we have seen a great rise in the number of websites, mobile ehealth apps and wearables that people can use to track and take control of their own health. As technology is improving, more and more people will want to know how they are doing right now.
Healthcare providers on the other hand are finding ways to use this technology to their advantage to reduce costs, enhancing care management and improving outcomes. As patients become more and more used to having their own health data at their fingertips, it makes sense that Healthcare providers make their data available at the point of care as well. At the end of a Folcrom Arm of course!
All the data that patients can gather on their own is great, but they need guidance so they are not left to track and interpret the collected information on their own. This is why healthcare providers need to focus on engagement and education. Empowering patients will help them fully benefit from the patient-generated ehealth data.
The Self-managing Patient
Today’s digital patient has unlimited access to tools to self-test, self-diagnose and self-treat. The number of wearable health and fitness devices are growing by the day. Apple Health, Fitbit and Samsung’s S Health are just three examples of healthcare tracking platforms.
Users can measure anything from blood pressure to nutrition and activity levels putting valuable healthcare data in the hands of the patient and allowing them to self manage their health to some extent. Other devices allow them to check hydration levels, brain activity and sunlight exposure.
This data does not just affect patient empowerment – it’s also of great value to healthcare providers.
Patient Empowerment through eHealth
High quality health data empowers patients to choose how, when and where they receive care. It allows them to choose the manner in which they receive care, diagnosis and treatment. And offers more options and increased convenience.
They can choose traditional service at a hospital if they prefer the in-person approach or can decide on a virtual visit with a tele- physician or even request a house call.
As this trend seems to be here to stay, healthcare providers worry patients might be getting a little too independent. Patient empowerment through patient education and patient engagement has been a focus of hospitals for a while. Important now is to focus on patient empowerment outside the hospital. And ensuring patients can still reach professional help when needed.
Healthcare Provider Empowerment through eHealth
Patient empowerment through data, information and technology is a great thing. But patients should stay aware of the importance of physicians. There is still a strong need for professional guidance and intervention. Only professional healthcare staff can accurately translate and act upon the collected data.
Ehealth data doesn’t just empower patients, it empowers healthcare providers as well. Tracking this continuous stream of data can provide completely new insights into a patient’s health. Healthcare providers have to find the benefits of this valuable information. Incorporating the eHealth data into the care process and workflow.
This can massively increase efficiency – allowing for cost reduction. But it can also help move into a more preventative based model of care. Detecting possible health risks and issues before they’re visible.
By installing terminals at the point of care and embracing both more data as well as the fact that more patients want to discuss their data and their situation with their clinicians, patient engagement and satisfaction can increase.